Back-to-school week 2014: Roxbury speed-cam reminder

September 2nd, 2014 at 8:04 am Posted in Highline School District, Schools, White Center news | No Comments »

School-zone lights are flashing again near Holy Family on Roxbury this morning, and starting today, they are not just a reminder of the 20-mph speed limit in school zones – they are also a reminder of new speed-enforcement cameras. In both the Holy Family zone around 20th (where school starts today) and the Roxhill Elementary zone around 30th (where school starts tomorrow), automated enforcement cameras were installed last spring and are starting operation today. Seattle authorities have said that the first month, tickets will be warnings, but then in early October, they’ll come with triple-digit fines.

P.S. The BIG back-to-school day is tomorrow – that’s when Highline Public Schools get going.

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White Center Crime Watch: Stolen car to keep an eye out for

August 29th, 2014 at 12:38 pm Posted in Crime, White Center news | No Comments »

Call 911 if you see it: Stolen around 8:10 pm last night (Thursday, August 28th), behind the White Center Taco Bell. Chrysler Sebring, 1998, white, with black top convertible, license plate ALS515.

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Be there! King County Sheriff’s Office @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s next meeting

August 28th, 2014 at 10:11 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news | No Comments »

Questions/concerns about crime/safety/policing in White Center and vicinity? Bring them to next week’s September meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

NHUAC Meeting
When: Thursday, Sept 4 at 7pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station (1243 SW 112st Street)

Please plan on joining us for an important community discussion with Major Jerrell Wills from the King County Sheriff’s Office. This is an opportunity to let your voice be heard about concerns in the North Highline Community, and importantly, learn what the Sheriff’s Office is doing to replace the currently vacant White Center Storefront deputy position.

Deputy BJ Myers, who served as the White Center Storefront Deputy for the past 3 years, and a regular at NHUAC meetings, providing updates on public safety issues, will also be in attendance – for the last time.

Hope to see you all there –

Barbara Dobkin
President, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

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Update: Man arrested after stealing SUV with baby inside in West Seattle, and abandoning both in Greenbridge

August 27th, 2014 at 3:40 pm Posted in Crime, west seattle, White Center news | No Comments »

ORIGINAL REPORT: If you’re seeing Seattle Police and helicopters, there’s a search under way in White Center after a man who stole a vehicle with a baby inside ditched the vehicle, a black Ford Edge. Searchers are looking in an area including the 13th/100th vicinity. The baby is OK. If you see anyone suspicious, call 911 ASAP. More details on our partner site West Seattle Blog; the SUV was stolen in Highland Park.

UPDATE: A suspect is in custody, arrested at 17th/Roxbury.

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Followup: White Center bike corral meeting

August 26th, 2014 at 11:52 pm Posted in Businesses, Transportation, White Center news | No Comments »

Bikes parked outside the King County Sheriff’s Office White Center Storefront tonight hinted at what was happening inside – the community meeting about more bicycle parking in downtown WC.

Katie Meyer was there for WCN. She reports that it was a full house, at least 40 people.

She reports that bike parking stations in several locations were proposed as an alternative to the “bike corral” planned on the street in front of Proletariat Pizza and Caffé Delia, both of which support it. This alternative could result in even more bike parking than the corral, and it apparently still would qualify for the King County grant money that was planned for the corral. So a new plan will be crafted and discussed.

It also was noted during the meeting that concerns about the bike corral seemed tied to other local issues, so Elizabeth Gordon, co-proprietor of Uncle Mike’s Barbecue and a North Highline Unincorporated Area Council member, urged everyone to attend NHUAC’s next meeting on September 4th (7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ), so those issues can be raised and addressed there.

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Wheels spinning on downtown White Center bike-parking increase? Meeting Tuesday

August 22nd, 2014 at 12:17 am Posted in Transportation, White Center news | 4 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

It’s been five months since County Councilmember Joe McDermott‘s newsletter touted a county grant for “bike corral” parking in downtown White Center – but the corral’s not in place yet. One more community conversation is planned for next week.

The corral would triple bicycle parking in downtown White Center, which has an increasing population to serve, especially with more development on the drawing boards right across the city/county line in the South Delridge area. Immediately north of the business area, the city of Seattle is working on a project that is expected to make the busy Roxbury arterial friendlier and safer for bicycle riders and pedestrians.

The corral is proposed for 16th SW in front of Proletariat Pizza and Caffé Delia, both of which are excited about it. The space is currently used for two diagonal motorized-vehicle spaces. If converted to bike-corral space, it would park up to 20 bikes.

Proletariat’s proprietors are hoping to clear up misconceptions and concerns they say are being voiced by nearby businesses who don’t like the idea. They contacted WCN to let us know about the meeting next week. It’s being hosted by the White Center Community Development Association, which was involved in seeking the grant to fund the bike corral, at 6:30 pm Tuesday (August 26th) in the King County Sheriff’s Office storefront space in downtown White Center.

The $3,000 grant is to come from the Community Service Areas‘ grant funds, set up when King County changed its relationship with unincorporated areas a few years ago. The rationale voiced in the grant document:

The White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA) along with local White Center residents are requesting funding for the “Bike, Shop, Eat White Center” project; the primary goal of this project is to grow bicycling in White Center as an alternative method of transportation for local families and residents. Funding to purchase the bicycle corrals will increase bicycle parking in the White Center business district, which will encourage residents to ride their bikes to local shopping and dining destinations. Part of our project proposal includes a bike ride led by experienced volunteer bicyclists; open to all in the White Center community to learn about safe riding techniques as well as bike and route safety. The ride would include stops at Greenbridge Library, the new bike corrals, and other neighborhood stops.

There are several benefits for the proposed project; increased physical activity for local residents, greater knowledge of bicycle and route safety, building community, and boosting the local economy.

As part of the grant application, proposers had to explain how certain goals would be met – here’s how they replied:

Promote the engagement of local residents in community or civic activities: by promoting bicycling as a healthy, local activity in White Center, we are helping to build community around alternative methods of transportation. Some local residents have expressed interest in hosting safety rides to teach others on riding safely and selecting safe routes; as White Center continues to grow into a family friendly neighborhood this is a way to engage with multiple generations while encouraging healthier habits.

Educate local residents about issues impacting them: One of the assets we have in White Center is its small-town feel; with shopping and dining destinations just a few blocks from home, many people still drive the few minutes rather than use it as an opportunity to walk or bike. The White Center/Boulevard Park neighborhoods have some of the starkest health statistics compared to the rest of King County. Data from Seattle King County Public Health indicates that access to exercise and obesity is a challenge for residents of the White Center/Boulevard Park areas for residents of all ages. Our project would be one of the ways to address this issue in White Center.

Implement a community enhancement project: A majority of the funding request for this project would be to purchase bike corrals for the neighborhood’s business district to more than TRIPLE existing bicycle parking. With the addition of bike corrals to the downtown core along with resident-led bike rides around White Center to educate those new to bicycling, we hope that this will begin a positive cultural shift that will support the local businesses and promote healthier habits.

North of White Center, West Seattle’s first official bike corral was installed in The Junction just last month. Seattle now has 26 bike corrals, according to the city website. Portland has four times that, according to its website.

Looking back at downtown White Center’s history, the angled parking dates to 1992. Branching out into a multimodal transportation system was foreseen in the 2007 “We Create White Center” report, which includes the goal (on page 15) “Create a community that supports and encourages bicycling as a mode of transportation,” and recommends “increased bicycle racks” (on page 95). That was years before County Executive Dow Constantine made “confronting climate change” one of his signature goals.

The storefront, site of next Tuesday’s 6:30 pm meeting, is at 9609 16th SW.

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White Center businesses: Center Studio to say goodbye

August 20th, 2014 at 11:15 pm Posted in Businesses, Health, White Center news | 1 Comment »

One week from Friday – on August 29th – Center Studio in downtown White Center will have its final classes. Proprietor Lonjina Verdugo announced via Facebook that she’s closing up shop after two years. Equipment and fixtures from the fitness business are listed for sale in a CL ad. Though yoga/fitness has been the core of Center Studio’s business, the space also had spotlighted artists and guest vendors, plus multiple editions of the pop-up “Cattywampus Kids” shop with retro kid stuff.

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Rat City Recon music festival this Saturday

August 19th, 2014 at 3:33 pm Posted in Music, White Center news | No Comments »

No need to leave the area this weekend, with events like this: Three venues, one night, 10 bands, so far. Here’s the plan, according to the Rat City Recon Facebook event page:

It’s that time, everybody! Rat City Recon is happening on August 23rd! Our music festival will feature 10 bands at 3 venues in downtown White Center. Here is our lineup:

Mac’s Triangle Pub:

Blanco Bronco
7-Year Old Blind Girl
Mico de Noche

Full Tilt:

Gems
Joseph Giant
Darci Carlson

Company Bar:

Burien
Drunk Dad
Don Peyote
Erasehorse

Rat City Recon is a free event. Pre-order for our exclusive t-shirt is available at each of the venues. $20 will guarantee you a shirt in your size and a wristband good for happy hour drinks at each venue all night. Stay tuned for set times. See you in Rat City!

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WSDOT wants to make sure you know about the big Highway 99 closure starting Friday night

August 19th, 2014 at 3:14 pm Posted in alaskan way viaduct, Traffic, White Center news | No Comments »

Important reminder – if you use Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and lower Queen Anne, a two-phase closure starting this Friday night WILL affect you. Here are the newest details/reminders from WSDOT:

A portion of State Route 99 closes for four full days starting this Friday. If drivers have not already made plans for this closure, now is the time to do so.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will close both directions of SR 99 between South Spokane Street and Valley Street from 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, until 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25. Crews will reopen SR 99 south of the Battery Street Tunnel just before the Monday morning commute; however, the highway will remain closed through the tunnel to Valley Street until 5 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27.

“We need Seattle commuters to plan ahead for this closure,” said Dave Sowers, deputy administrator for the WSDOT Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. “The section of 99 we’re closing Monday and Tuesday is shorter in length than what we’re closing that weekend, but it has the potential to create longer backups and delays both on city streets and I-5.”

Seahawks traffic considerations
· Northbound SR 99 will be open from South Royal Brougham Way and southbound SR 99 will be open from Columbia Street until midnight Friday, Aug. 22, for traffic related to the Seahawks’ preseason game.

Why a four-day closure is needed
· It will take four days for contractor crews working for WSDOT to demolish and replace the section of SR 99 over Broad Street. This new section of the highway will become part of the permanent connection between the SR 99 tunnel’s north portal and a new surface street section of Aurora Avenue North.
· Four days are also necessary for crews to reroute the water and sewer lines underneath SR 99 near Harrison Street.
· During the weekend portion of the closure, contractor crews will replace 81 damaged or cracked concrete road panels that comprise the SR 99 lanes between South Spokane and South Holgate streets. They will also repair an expansion joint at the northbound SR 99 exit to Seneca Street.

Closure details (view closure maps)
· At 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, crews will close both directions of SR 99 between South Spokane Street and Valley Street. However, due to the Seahawks game, northbound SR 99 will remain open at South Royal Brougham way and southbound SR 99 will remain open from the Columbia Street on-ramp until midnight.
· At 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25, crews will reopen both directions of SR 99 south of the Battery Street Tunnel. Both directions of SR 99 will remain closed between the south end of the tunnel and Valley Street.
· At 5 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, crews will reopen both directions of SR 99 between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street.

Driver tips
· Allow plenty of extra travel time.
· Leave early or delay your trip to avoid traveling during peak commute periods in the morning and afternoon.
· Delay or reschedule discretionary trips.
· Consider telecommuting.
· Take King County Metro during off peak hours and plan for reroutes on buses that use SR 99, or share a ride in a car or vanpool.
· If you must drive, know before you go and use WSDOT’s travel tools.

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Backpack giveaway tomorrow at Westwood Christian Community

August 19th, 2014 at 9:24 am Posted in Churches, west seattle, White Center news | Comments Off

Student(s) in your family, or someone you know, in need of school supplies? Check out this event just north of White Center tomorrow (Wednesday):

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Will White Center’s storefront deputy be replaced? Online petition asks Sheriff John Urquhart to keep commitment to staff WC, Skyway storefronts

August 15th, 2014 at 10:11 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | Comments Off

No replacement yet for the former King County Sheriff’s Office storefront deputy for White Center, BJ Myers, and local advocates are worried there might never be one, especially in the wake of a schedule-change message from KCSO’s local leadership. Now, an online petition is in circulation, asking Sheriff John Urquhart to appoint new deputies for Skyway as well as White Center:

We are counting on you to keep your promise to fully fund, staff, support, and incentivize storefront deputy positions for Skyway and White Center. It’s a matter of our safety.

If you’re interested in signing it, go here. We’ll be following up with KCSO about the deputy situation next week.

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‘Luau at the Lake’: 34th District Democrats’ first Garden Party at Lakewood Park

August 15th, 2014 at 9:48 pm Posted in Politics, White Center news | Comments Off

New location tonight for the 34th District Democrats‘ summertime fundraiser – the Garden Party moved to White Center, at TAF’s Bethaday Community Learning Space in Lakewood Park. And so, with Hicklin Lake in view, the party was dubbed “Luau at the Lake.” As always, the crowd included elected officials, like State Rep. Eileen Cody and Seattle School Board director Marty McLaren:

State Senate Democratic leader Senator Sharon Nelson:

34th leaders too – that’s Chris Porter with the big smile:

You can’t have a luau without boat drinks:

And this was an auction, too, with at least one item carrying a Presidential seal:

When not garden-partying, the 34th District Democrats meet monthly on the second Wednesday, 7 pm, at The Hall at Fauntleroy in West Seattle.

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Happening tonight: Storytelling at Seola Gardens with Gloria Sims

August 15th, 2014 at 3:49 pm Posted in People | Comments Off

Sorry for the late notice – but just in case you’re looking for something to do tonight:

The Trusted Advocates community group cordially invites everyone to this Friday’s Storyhour. Get to know your neighbors! Youth especially welcomed!

*6:30 pm*, August 15th
*Seola Gardens Community Room,* White Center
11215 5th Ave. SW

This month’s speaker is *Gloria Sims*, a young Chicana from El Paso, Los Angeles and Washington. She’ll share her story and how we can help our youth avoid or get out of gangs and substance abuse.

FREE! Refreshments included.

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Update: Man stabbed in White Center, no arrest yet

August 14th, 2014 at 1:38 am Posted in Crime, White Center news | 1 Comment »

(Photo courtesy Tim Clemans)
ORIGINAL 1:38 AM REPORT: A search is under way for someone suspected in a stabbing reported in downtown White Center. According to a radio transmission asking for Seattle Police to be on the lookout, someone was stabbed at the Locker Room Tavern on 16th SW. We don’t know the circumstances or condition, but a search is under way now (with a possible suspect spotted in West Seattle). We hope to find out more about this later in the morning, too.

8:55 AM UPDATE: According to King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates:

The stabbing was between two men who were acquaintances, and they were both intoxicated. After both were refused service in the Locker Room Tavern they were outside talking for a while when for unknown reasons the suspect stabbed the victim in the back. The suspect left on foot and a K-9 track didn’t locate him. The at-large suspect is described as a Native American male about 5’10″ and 160 pounds with what is described as a mullet hairstyle. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket and (in possession of) a baseball hat. The victim was uncooperative with deputies so it’s unknown if he will= assist in prosecution. His injuries were said to be life-threatening, but I’ve had no further update on his condition since shortly after the incident.

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Another White Center and vicinity power outage, this time because of a crash

August 13th, 2014 at 9:23 pm Posted in utilities, White Center news | 3 Comments »

(Screengrab of City Light map added 9:49 pm – yes, it looks a lot like the one from early today!)
No power? You’re not alone. We’re getting reports from Shorewood and part of White Center that power is out again – as of this writing Seattle City Light still doesn’t have the full scope of it on its map, but we have multiple reports it’s linked to a crash. We’re en route to the location to verify.

UPDATE: City Light also verifies the crash is to blame, at 10th/116th. We have just arrived in the area. Traffic signals are out at 16th/112th and 16th/116th, so if you have to drive in the area, please remember to treat nonfunctioning signals as four-way stops. 4,200 customers are without power, according to the customer hotline.

2ND UPDATE: Now it’s on the City Light map, as of 9:40 pm. We also have learned from sheriff’s deputies that 2 people were hurt in the crash and taken to the hospital. Too dangerous because of downed pole to get close, so we only have a photo of North Highline Fire District crew standing by:

3RD UPDATE: City Light says crews are routing power and should get it back to most “within the hour” (which would be, by 11 pm). And we’re starting to hear from people who indeed are connected again.

1:35 AM: City Light map shows 1200+ customers still out of power. We’ve also learned that Seattle Police are investigating the crash that started it. We hope to learn a lot more about that later this morning.

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Update: Power outage hits parts of White Center and vicinity

August 13th, 2014 at 12:53 am Posted in utilities, Weather, White Center news | 2 Comments »

(Screengrab from Seattle City Light map)
12:53 AM: Shortly after major rain started to fall, power went out to a wide area including part of White Center. The Seattle City Light outage map shows more than 4,200 homes/businesses are out of power. So far, no cause listed – just that SCL is “investigating” – but at least one tipster reports big lightning preceded it.

1:30 AM: City Light says it’s restored power to about a third of the customers affected, leaving about 2,600 without electricity.

2:02 AM: And now, fewer than 1,000 still without power.

6 AM: Almost 600, mostly in the South Park area, remain without power.

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White Center businesses: Martial-arts teacher moves from West Seattle, now at Body Movement Arts

August 12th, 2014 at 2:17 am Posted in Businesses, Health, White Center news | Comments Off

A “grand reopening” is planned next month for a longtime West Seattle martial-arts practice that has relocated to White Center.

Until fall 2012, Restita DeJesus operated the Seattle Wushu Center in a West Seattle facility that now is home to a CrossFit studio. She moved classes to another nearby location while looking for a new facility and found it in White Center, across from Southgate Roller Rink, at what’s now known as Body Movement Arts (9627 17th SW). She says:

The new location has a totally new look, 3000 square feet of studio space, and offers classes in Filipino Martial Arts and self-defense, Kung Fu, Wushu, and Tai Chi. A Personal Trainer on site not only teaches some of the classes but also offers personal training sessions. Classes run from as early as 7:00 am all the way through to 8:30 pm.

The “grand reopening” open house on September 14th will feature a Lion Dance performance as well as free short introductory classes for all ages (4 and up).

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Scenes from Night Out 2014 in North Highline

August 6th, 2014 at 11:50 pm Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Neighborhoods, North Highline Fire District, White Center news | Comments Off

Thanks to North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin for sharing photos from a lively Night Out gathering in NH – our apologies for delayed publication. Above, NH Fire District firefighters stopped by. Below, King County Sheriff’s Office was represented too – that’s Major Jerrell Wills in uniform:

And he wasn’t alone:

Next year, let us know if you are having a Night Out party – we would love to stop by a few, as we do on the other side of the city-county line – whitecenternow@gmail.com any time!

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Election 2014: North Highline Fire District ‘benefit charge’ passing

August 5th, 2014 at 9:08 pm Posted in Election, North Highline Fire District, White Center news | 1 Comment »

It needs 60 percent approval – and so far, after the first ballot count in tonight’s election, the North Highline Fire District benefit charge has almost 70 percent approval. Here’s the full list of election results from around King County; next ballot count will be out tomorrow afternoon.

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Election Day: Get your ballot in by 8 pm

August 5th, 2014 at 10:45 am Posted in Election, White Center news | Comments Off

Today is Election Day and for your vote to count, your ballot needs to either be in the mail by tonight – and postmarked with today’s date, with postage on the envelope – or turned in at a dropbox or dropoff van by 8 pm, which does NOT require postage. There’s a van in White Center, on 8th SW in Greenbridge, all the way up until that last moment at 8. If you still need a reason to vote, there is one big measure to be decided today, the North Highline Fire District benefit charge, which requires a 60 percent “yes” vote to pass. Whatever and whomever you’re voting for, don’t let your ballot go to waste.

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